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Closed Circuit

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‘Closed Circuit’ - lacks follow through, good acting and suspense

Click for a Larger ImageAfter so many explosive and let’s-kill-as-many-as-we-can, movies this year I was ready for a good mystery. John Crowley’s Closed Circuit seemed promising. Unfortunately, just taking a rest in the dark, quiet theater was more rewarding than this international suspense thriller.

In London, a busy outdoor market place has delivery trucks coming and going. When one driver seems to ignore a warning by a man in the crowd that he's too close to the mer- chandise, the driver ignores him. Seconds later the truck explodes and many die.

Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto) is the Turkish terrorist bomber accused of the action. That the English legal system is very different than ours becomes painfully clear in this drawn out, boring plot.

The defendant is given (not a lawyer as we call them) a solicitor and a barrister. However, because the government has evidence so secret that neither the solicitor nor barrister will see, Erdogan is assigned a special advocate – actually, two of them.

What the officials don't know is that the advocates, Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall) and Martin Rose (Eric Bana) are former lovers. They are not allowed to speak to each other or share information as both try to clear this man as the bomber. Talk about confusing!

When Claudia uncovers some key information that might clear Erdogan she tries to keep to the stipulations of not discussing the case with Martin. Yet, even though there is as much chemistry between the two as an ice cube and a blow dryer, they do secretly get together often and question their relationship.

If all of this isn't enough maze's to get through there's another element that blurs the plot even more. It's the Attorney General (Jim Broadbent) who assigned the advocates to the case. His instructions are more warnings than advice and soon have Martin and Claudia are in fear of their own lives. Julia Stiles is a New York Times reporter who seems thrown in for name talent because her character never seems to fit in this plot.

The idea of Closed Circuit might have been a better movie if not for a humdrum script and direction that clearly missed the mark. The talents of Bana, Hall and Stiles are clearly wasted as written for these characters. There isn’t one minute of Claudia and Martin’s quiet face to face meeting that I believed they were ever romantically involved. Stiles character slips in and out of the film and never makes an impact. The only character that delivers any kind of intrigue in Closed Circuit is Broadbent. But one interesting character does not make a movie, and this one is a real yawner.  

Reel Facts

Closed Circuit

Focus Features

Gazette Grade:

for language and brief violence

Who Should Go:
Jim Broadbent fans

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